Michelle and I have just returned from a trip to South Africa. It was a full, blessed trip in many ways. Obviously, seeing family and friends is deeply treasured. We were privileged to minister into five churches, be a part of the NCMI (New Covenant Ministries International) Team Time and attend the World Equip 2015.
But for me personally, the highlight was the privilege of being able to honor some of my ‘fathers’. Before we travel, Michelle and I pray about which trips to go on even when it does seem obvious. We ask the Lord about His focus for us. Before we had booked for our South African trip, the Lord spoke to both Michelle and I individually about going to Cape Town so see Ken and Ann Turner. We knew this was an opportunity to visit and simply honor them for all they did in our lives. It was Ken Turner that opened up the door for us to go into ministry. He was an amazing spiritual father to us in those early years, leading us into the things of the Kingdom of God, covering our many mistakes, and fathering the multiple gaps I personally had in my life. We booked our flights including a trip to Cape Town. At the time, we did not have ministry scheduled in the Cape, but our hearts were set on giving honor as honor is the way of the Kingdom.
God has amazing ways of opening unexpected doors. While at breakfast one morning, a man named Alexander Venter sat at the table next to us. This is the man God used to bring me to salvation and to get baptized with the Holy Spirit. Wow. We knew this was a God moment. We went to greet him and thank him. It was just a moment, but it was a moment of honor.
On the last leg of our trip, I was able to publicly honor my father-in-law, Arnold Elliott, and Eldred Engelsman who opened for us into NCMI, which in turn opened the doors to the nations for us. Arnold is an amazing father and even as a teen, he opened his home and life to me. Seeing that our family was somewhat broken, Arnold in the most natural way, stepped into the gap. He gave me vision, hope, taught me about business, gave correction, but more than all of that he helped establish me. He is an amazing father and friend to me so the opportunity to publicly honor him was, to say the least, overwhelming for me as I am so very grateful to him. Eldred is an amazing man of grace and we learnt a great deal though him. He too, as stated, opened doors for our future. These are the men who God used.
What is honor about? Honor means “esteem, value, or great respect.” To honor someone is to value them greatly. We have heard it said that Honor is the vehicle of inheritance. This is a truth that needs to flood our lives, our ministry, and our culture. The bible is full of this principle. We see this in the story of Joseph: sold into slavery, imprisoned, and falsely accused of adultery. But what is his response? He honors Pharaoh and eventually is promoted to second in charge. But more than that when he meets his brothers, he brings comfort to them and this is his response to them: Genesis 45: 3 “Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.” Even in the midst of betrayal, Joseph honors his family. He did not start this way, but he became a man of honor and we see the wonderful inheritance he received. An inheritance that served a nation, his family, and the people of God.
We need to honor God. Just a few of many scriptures on honoring God are: Psalm 50:14-15, 50:23, Revelations 4:9-11, 5:11-12, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Proverbs 3:9, Provers 14:31, Acts 19:17 etc. If God the Father honored His Son (2 Peter 1:17) how much more should we for whom Jesus died and paid the price of our redemption? Bill Johnson said, “Too many people wait to see the full manifestation of what God has promised before they get happy. When you can begin to run when you have seen the cloud the size of a man’s hand, then you will bring the reign of God down. It is people who learn to see the Oak Tree in the Acorn… If you can’t get excited over the headache that’s gone then you can’t be trusted with an empty wheelchair. A move of God is a move of God… He is the Great Treasure, He is the Great Prize.”
We honor people. Ephesians 6:2-3: “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” In 1 Peter 2:17 we are told to “honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” In 1 Timothy 5:17, we are called to honor leadership. “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” Again, the bible is full of examples of honor: Parents, leaders, fellow workers in Christ, government etc.
Here is an excerpt from book, “The Honor Key” by Russel Evens
“Honor affects every part of your life – your family, your job, your finances, and your church life. In fact, it affects everything. God has a great deal more for us than the narrow slice of life so many of us experience – more abilities, blessings, and inheritances. He wants us to experience heaven on earth – to live life and to live it abundantly.
He wants you to operate in your gifts and abilities, but honor is the key that releases these things in your life. Honor is the foundation of the kingdom of God, and it unlocks the possibilities of heaven.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PRACTICE A LIFESTYLE OF HONOR?
-You believe in the greatness God has placed in every person.
-You honor the people God places in your life, despite their shortcomings.
-You honor the gifts God has given you, so He can pour inheritance into your life.
-You walk with praise through difficult experiences.
-You walk by faith, not by facts.
-You become a world-changer: God uses you to release supernatural and practical miracles into the world.”
To walk in all we desire in God, to walk in the promises of God, to walk in the inheritance we have in God, we need to develop honor as a lifestyle. To have all that God has given to us as an inheritance for our children, both physical and spiritual, we need to live this life of honor as it is indeed a vehicle of inheritance.